Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tender and Compassionate Fathers

Daily Gratitude Year 7-Day 166: Today, I am grateful for tender and compassionate fathers. 

Fatherhood is equally as important as motherhood. Good dads teach more than how to mow the grass and change a tire. They wipe the tears, stand in front of the bullies and hold their children (and their Mama's) through the storms of life. Dad's matter. Today we celebrate our Dad's. 

One way to wind me up tight is to hear a father say he is "babysitting" his children. Dads don't babysit! They parent. It might be more intimidating when their spouse is gone, but Dads are fully capable of keeping the children fed, nurtured and alive. 

A public bathroom with a diaper changing station is not a luxury. Fathers need a safe place to change a diaper in public or take their little girl to potty, too. 

With no family nearby... no grandparents or siblings... we rarely went anywhere without our children. Our kids learned to eat in restaurants with manners if we wanted to eat out. The Love of My Life always pointed out the bathroom at any establishment to the boys as we entered. We partnered to teach social expectations and enforced them. Our sons knew that there was a private place for a "talk" if behaviors were out of line from what was expected. 

We have great memories of restaurants welcoming our children who could order for themselves at a young age. One let Chase use the "Hokey" to vacuum crumbs if he wanted to keep busy while we chatted with friends. Walker's special friend, Jackie, at Panera's was sad when he entered school all day. She still put our order in under his name and sent home an occasional cookie. I am so grateful for the man who has co-parented our children from the day they were born. 

Tender and compassionate is the way I think the boys would reflect on Randy as a father. Randy always welcomed their "help" with measuring, painting and other projects. He expected it for the lawn mowing. He was intentionally patient and always encouraging at new tasks. Limits, established in love, help nurture respect. 

We were... and are not perfect parents... but our children survived us. They have made it to adulthood. They are kind, compassionate and hard working guys. I smile at the many ways they resemble their father in the things they say and do. 

This scripture is beautiful for Father's Day:  

The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. Psalms 103:13 NLT

His mercy is fresh each morning to those who call him Father. 

Today, I am grateful for tender and compassionate fathers.

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